Solvay Pharmaceuticals has tabled a bid of 177.6 million euros to acquire fellow Belgian firm Innogenetics in a bid to expand its personalised medicines operations.

Under the terms of the proposed offer, which Solvay describes as a friendly one, Innogenetics stockholders would receive 5.75 euros per share, This represents a 53% premium on the latter’s closing price on April 23 and up 42.8% on its average price over the preceding month.

The firms initially entered into an R&D co-operation in 1997 and Solvay already has a stake of just under 7% in Innogenetics. The former company’s chief executive, Werner Cautreels, said that “the time has now come to take our long-standing relationship to a new level,” and the business model “would be based on the expansion of Innogenetics’ diagnostics business”.

He added that it is his firm’s belief “that the future of drug development lies in the design of personalised treatments with improved safety and efficacy”. Mr Cautreels ended by saying that “adding Innogenetics technologies to Solvay’s research programmes will help identify the best possible treatment for different patient groups”.

Solvay is hopeful that the deal will close in the second quarter and says the board of directors of Innogenetics “unanimously considers the offer to be friendly and supports it, subject to review of the takeover prospectus”. The firm added that reference shareholders who hold 18.48% of Innogenetics stock have already committed to tender them.